What are you thankful for?

November 23rd, 2015 by Ken

The National Geographic channel is running a two-part series on the Pilgrims adventures in the new land.   Both parts run tonight.   Here’s my take.

In the year 1620 –  102 people – many of them religious pilgrims –  landed in the new world in hopes of finding religious freedom.   By the time they had finished their journey they had used up most of their food and they had no lodging and no place to live.

During that first hard winter, more than half of them died.   They wouldn’t have survived any longer if it hadn’t been for friendly Indians who taught them to fish, hunt and grow crops – – and what herbs to use to fight off illness.

Of those that did survive that first year, half were children – – and only four women.

To celebrate their survival and thanks to their Indian friends – -they held a religious ceremony that incorporated three days of feasting.   Historians refer to it as Harvest Home Celebration.   The event was held in late September and was to thank providence that they had survived.

About 140 people, including 90 Indians and the 50 remaining Pilgrims attended.   The four women did all the cooking and food preparation.   This first Thanksgiving meal consisted of sea bass, cod, duck, geese and turkey – – along with five deer which the Indians provided.

About 40 years later – in 1676 – the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts declared June 29 as a Day of Thanksgiving.   Several hundred years later the American Congress fixed the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day.  That’s where it stood until World War Two when President Franklin Roosevelt set the date as the Fourth Thursday in November.

Today we continue the heritage of Thanksgiving with families gathering around the table to eat, drink and give thanks for those good things which came their way this year.

I’m thankful for many things this year.  I’m thankful that we came through illness and emerged on the other side.   I’m thankful that my children- for the most part –  are happy and well.   I’m thankful that my grandchildren are growing up in a safe and caring community – – and I’m thankful that I’ve found a woman who loves me.

I’m also thankful that we had the opportunity this year to participate in the election process in a peaceful and courteous manner.   That’s not the case in many countries.  And, I’m thankful that so many of you read Ken’s Corner & The Real News.

What are you thankful for?

Posted in The Real News

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